European Banks vs Greece: The Financial War is On!
More than 61 percent of Greeks have voted “No” in Sunday’s referendum on the bailout deal and austerity measures, reported the Interior Ministry after 100 percent of the vote had been counted.
Thousands of people took to Syntagma square in front of the Greek parliament in Athens to celebrate the ‘No’ vote, which was called “a big Yes to democratic Europe” by the country’s finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.
“As of tomorrow, with this brave ‘No’ the Greek people handed us…. we will extend a helping hand towards our lenders. We will call on each one of them to find common ground. As of tomorrow, Europe, whose heart is beating in Greece tonight, is starting to heal its wounds, our wounds,” Varoufakis said, as cited by Reuters.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras praised the ‘No’ vote in the referendum, saying that his government is ready to return to negotiations with creditors immediately so that the country’s banks could re-open.
The hard line from Germany continues.
Deputy chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Greece is now threatened with insolvency. And if it wants to stay in the eurozone it has to present proposals that go beyond what it has offered before.
On Greece’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras.
Mr Putin and Mr Tsipras discussed the results of the Greek referendum on international creditors’ conditions for providing financial aid to Athens, and discussed several matters concerning further development of bilateral cooperation.
Mr Putin expressed his support for the Greek people in overcoming the country’s current difficulties.
The Wall Street Journal has an intriguing theory to explain Yanis Varoufakis’s shock resignation this morning.
They say that Alexis Tsipras decided to jettison his finance minister after he told the Telegraph that Greece could start issuing its own IOU notes to run alongside the euro, if the liquidity squeeze choking Greece isn’t lifted.
[Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis] also hailed last night’s referendum results as “a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.”
Shares fell, the euro stumbled and yields on weaker euro zone economies’ bonds rose after Greece overwhelmingly voted against conditions for a rescue package, but there was no rout and contagion was limited.
U.S. stock index futures ESc1 SPc1 indicated Wall Street would follow European and Asian share markets lower but there have been several worse days this year for markets vulnerable to events in Greece.
Analysts attributed the relatively muted reaction to expectations the European Central Bank would act to limit any damage. The ECB’s governing council is holding a conference call on Monday to decide how long to keep Greek banks afloat.
France and Germany called for an emergency summit of euro zone leaders to discuss Greece’s stunning referendum vote on Sunday to reject bailout terms, as calls mounted in Berlin to cut Athens loose from Europe’s common currency.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy said Athens had wrecked any hope of compromise with its euro zone partners by overwhelmingly rejecting further austerity.
Merkel and French President Francois Hollande conferred by telephone and will meet in Paris on Monday afternoon to seek a joint response. Responding to their call, European Council President Donald Tusk announced that euro zone leaders would meet in Brussels on Tuesday evening (1600 GMT).
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, leader of Merkel’s centre-left Social Democratic junior coalition partner, said it was hard to conceive of fresh negotiations on lending more billions to Athens after Greeks voted against more austerity.